Jesus taught about a man going on a journey who distributed talents to his servants, “to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability” (Matthew 25:15 NKJV). But he rebuked the one-talent man by saying: “you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers” (Matthew 25:27 NKJV). Sad, isn’t it, that people have crowded God out of their worship by calling their abilities “talents?” Their “worship” has become a concert displaying their “pride” in their abilities, and not being humble before God! In the Bible, a “talent” is a measure of money, not an exercise of abilities! Jesus said, “true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him” (John 4:23 NKJV). God’s worship should be what He demands, not what we think we deserve!
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
I took piano lessons for 15 years and enjoyed playing the classics, but I don’t play anymore.
My father wanted me to become a piano teacher, but I had neither the right amount of talent nor the desire to become one. I still enjoy listening to all genres of music. If I had it to do over again, I would probably learn to play the guitar instead of the piano because of the beautiful sound it produces.
Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.
John Wooden, basketball coach, UCLA Bruins
The wisdom of Coach Wooden:
Like Ron writes before me, I am not the best judge of my talents. When I have meditated on them, taking inventory as to what I can do best I find that I am mechanical and technologically orientated. However, those talents are not the best at serving the Lord. In the area of serving the Lord, I can do many and various things, but I am not the best but for a few. I like to communicate, encouraging and teaching others. I do have a gift of gab, which is probably what I am best at. I can pick on people in a humoreous way, that eases people. I do make a good Barnabas.
As to what I am best at – I do not know. I am not a good judge of what I consider to be my best talent. Though I believe in my ability to do certain things, I choose to look at my capabilities like this: There are things I think I can do well, but there are many things I wish I could do (or be) better at. There are many things I work hard at, and there are some things that I don’t work so hard at. I believe there are some things I do well, some not. More than not, I am always looking more at my failings and what I can do to make those failings something other than a failing.
This gets me to a point that I would like to make in athletics. An athlete might recognize that he or she is not the best at their sport of interest (or sports of interest), but this does not mean that modesty (humility) reigns. On the other hand (oth), there are athletes that feel they are the best at their particular sport, and this does not mean that modesty (humility) is lacking. A person must believe in his or her ability to be good at what they do. If one is a teacher, then let that teacher believe that she is very good at what she does. In saying this, it in no way suggests that improvements can’t be made, and it in no way suggests that others can’t help one along.
Stephen is very good at mathematics, Randal is very good at linguistics, Richard is very good at farming, etc. Me, oth, am very good with coffee and donuts!
Let each of us be a Barnabas.
Our one-talent man could become so much more than what he is, but he just isn’t interested or devoted to the Lord enough to develop his one talent.
The one-talent man in Matthew 25 is one of three servants given funds according to their separate abilities. There was one who was given five talents, a two-talent man and the man given just one talent. The point of the parable is that two of the servants developed their ability and were profitable servants because of their devotion. The one-talent man went and buried his money. He is called wicked and lazy because he had ability he refused to use to the glory of his Lord.
Taken as a whole, this chapter of Matthew points to a right and a wrong way to prepare for the coming of Christ. The five wise virgins prepared to go into the marriage feast. The five foolish were not. The five-talent man worked diligently to develop his abilities in the Lord’s service and was rewarded. Likewise the two-talent man prepared himself for his Lord’s coming, but the one-talent man would not. Through mendacity and carelessness, he showed a lack of devotion.
We have such a one-talent brother, as almost every congregation has. He is very good dealing one-on-one with people, but he never uses that talent. For some reason no one is able to explain, he has buried that talent in the ground. He could bring many lost to Christ with his skills dealing with people, but he does not.
How do we encourage him to dig up his talent and put it to profitable use before the Lord comes?
Describe the 1-talent person in my congregation: We have a brother who is a Sgt. Major in the army, presently attending the Sgt. Major Academy here at Ft. Bliss. After completing the school, he will be moving back east for another assignment. He plans on retiring in two years from the military. He is presently working on his masters degree in business administration.
He leads the congregation in prayer before the preaching begins as well as leading in prayer at the Lord’s Table. We can always depend on this godly brother being in attendance and leading us in prayer. Since he is a leader of men himself, he has taught us a great deal about leadership, and what the characteristics of a true leader are.
When this brother finishes school in about two more months, he will depart from our midst, and we will sorely miss him.
What are my talents? Well, I can do a little preaching, lead singing, lead in prayer, conduct an adult Bible class, present a Bible lesson at the Veteran’s Home every 3rd Saturday morning, write a few Bible-related articles. And anything else that the elders need me to do.